Thelma is 93, and not quite as fleet of foot as she was when she was 89. She’s a member of a small church, far, far from the madding crowd in the West Midlands. She does a few things in the church but she doesn’t really think she has a mission field, a frontline where she can minister to those how don’t know Jesus.
She’s heard a few sermons in her time, has Thelma. One day her minister takes her through a DVD called ‘Life on the Frontline’. It makes a simple point – God can work through you in the places you usually go to among the people you already know. Suddenly Thelma realises that she does have a frontline. She does have a mission field. She had one all along but she just couldn’t see it. It’s the convenience story down her road run by an Asian family that she likes.
And so it is that throughout the winter – come rain, come hail, come sleet, come snow – despite her friends’ pleading entreaties to please, please let us do your shopping for you, Thelma goes to minister to the people God has given her… And she’s excited to still be working with God, for God in his great plans.
Don’t we all want to be Thelmas, still going for it with God when we’re 93? Don’t we want to be Thelmas now?
Of course, it was only the first step in the journey, but an important one. Thelma was empowered by a biblical vision for mission and ministry, and so was her whole community. And together they began to move forward.